Will Khabib headline event after UFC and Abu Dhabi partner for five years?
- UFC and Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) signed a new partnership that will bring events to the city for the next five years
- It will air live on global broadcasters around the world and on Pay-Per-View in select markets
- UFC previously held live events in Abu Dhabi in 2010 and in 2014
- UFC 242 on Saturday, 7 September, will be the culmination of a week-long series of activities available to fans that travel from around the world and converge on Abu Dhabi for the event
UFC is coming back to Abu Dhabi this September. The mixed-martial arts organisation and the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) signed a new partnership to bring back the popular UFC events to the emirate for the next five years. And it all starts with UFC 242 on Saturday, September 7.
UFC’s highly anticipated return to Abu Dhabi, the promotion’s first since 2014, will air live on global broadcasters around the world and on Pay-Per-View in select markets. Though the bouts are still being confirmed, the card will be headlined by at least one championship fight. But the question on everyone's mind is: is it going to be the Middle East favourite fighter Khabib Nurmegomedov?
He let the cat out of the bag after a meeting with students at a Russian university, Nurmagomedov said that “we are working on this”.
“UFC told me they are working on this,” he told Russia Today. “I just came back from Dubai. And very soon news is coming. Very soon.”
The 30-year old champion has not fought since his controversial victory over Conor McGregor at UFC 229 that led to a post match brawl. His US$2 million fight purse is currently being held by the Nevada State Athletic Commission, as punishment for the incident.
The report adds that the main challenge to the deal is the ongoing suspension of his cousin, Abubakar Nurmagomedov and fellow UFC fighter Zubaira Tukgugov, both of whom are serving a yearlong ban from the sport for their participation in a post-fight brawl with Conor McGregor and his team.
According to the terms of the partnership all subsequent UFC events held in Abu Dhabi will be headlined by at least one championship bout.
“Abu Dhabi is now firmly established as a unique tourism destination which offers a diverse mix of activities and initiatives that cater to all kinds of audience and visitors,” said HE Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman, DCT Abu Dhabi.
“The emirate also has a strong affiliation with world-class sporting events, such as the FIFA World Club Cup, the Formula One Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and the Red Bull Air Race, and now this deal to bring UFC here allows us to once again show our ability to stage major events that thrill visitors and residents alike. UFC will become a key component of Abu Dhabi’s thriving events calendar for the next five years, which is already packed full of not only great sporting events, but also cultural, arts and entertainment offerings as well. This spectacular mixed martial arts event, which has a huge following around the world, will bring heightened impetus to visitation in the third quarter for the emirate and will no doubt boost incoming tourist numbers as fight fans across the world gather in Abu Dhabi.”
UFC 242 on Saturday, 7 September, will be the culmination of a week-long series of activities available to fans that travel from around the world and converge on Abu Dhabi for the event. Fans will be treated to a UFC fight week that will include open workouts, weigh-ins, press conferences, live entertainment, and more.
However, additional details about UFC 242, including venue, scheduled fights, ticket sales, and activities for fight week, will be announced at a later date.